Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
By Joey Atkinson
Name & Description
The Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle is the common name, Lepidochelys kempii is the scientific name, and it has no nickname, but they are sometimes simply referred to as Kemp's Ridleys.
The Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle is a reptile with gray-ish green on its top and shell, and usually has a cream or pale yellow under belly and shell. These turtles usually weigh 100lbs, and measure 24-28 inches in length, making them the smallest marine turtle in the world. Their carapace contains 5 "scutes" which are shown in the photo above. They usually have 1 claw on each front flipper, and 1 or 2 on each back flipper. Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are omnivores, and feed on crabs, fish, jellyfish, and mollusks. Some say the life span of the Kemp's Ridley is "unknown" but some scientists estimate it's life span to be about 50 years, which is quite a long time. Kemp's Ridley turtles breed in a process known as "arribada nesting" in which large groups of them come ashore and form nests, lay eggs, then return to the ocean. Scientists are not actually sure what causes the phenomenon, but they predict it is caused from wind patterns, pheromones from females, or even lunar cycles. During arriba nesting, females lay 2-3 clutches of 60-100 eggs within the months of April to July annually.
"Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles, Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Pictures, Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Facts - National Geographic." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.
"Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles." Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.